Everyone likes to save money. That means you should offer discounts and promotions to get people to your facility, right? Not necessarily. The answer to this question is a grey area, because each facility is different. However, according to Christian Thurgood of the Easy Storage Call Management Center “promotions and discounts can definitely be helpful and are sometimes necessary to increase occupancy.” He goes on to say that in his experience promotions are most useful for new facilities or facilities with very low occupancy.
Although, offering promotions can help fill your facility, depending on the promotion offered, it may attract less than desirable tenants that cost you money instead of making you money. The art of using promotions and discounts comes down to tailoring them to your unique business objectives and style.
As stated by Ken Turley of RIZE Marketing
“In our experience we have been able to see promotions be a very valuable tool for storage facility owners. The key question is not whether you should do promotions, it is more about how you should structure promotions. When setting a promotion make sure you use it as a tool to get long term customers, not just a 1-2 month renter. Be very simple and specific with your special offer and make sure it creates some urgency for the consumer to act now rather than missing out on a good deal.”
So, if you decide promotions will be helpful to your business you should evaluate what types of people the promotion will ultimately attract. An example of a promotion following Ken’s specification could be “for the month of May only pay 12 months in advance and receive your 13th month free”. You could also apply this to a longer term if you so choose.
Avoid giving a tenant a discount or free month without first getting some sort of commitment. For example, if you create a special giving the first month for free- with no length stipulations you may attract a tenant who will stay the first month and then leave. This essentially means you have “closed the door” on that unit for tenants who may have stayed longer and been willing to pay. You also run the risk of damage to your facility and potential lien issues if the tenant does not move out or pay.
To conclude, promotions are a great tool for increasing your occupancy if used correctly. Don’t undervalue your facility or, as Christian put it “If your facility is established and has a good occupancy I would not offer discounts because there is no need to decrease the value of what you are offering." However, you should use this tool as a way to get long term customers. Remember to always check your state statutes to ensure you are in compliance with your local laws, and don’t feel like you have to use promotions or discounts if they don’t suit your business style or objectives!